*Candidate responses were not modified or altered.
Q1. What are your top 2 priorities for Reno?
Q2. How would you increase local funding and incentives to develop affordable housing for low and middle-income communities?
Q3. How would you address the displacement of low-income communities and communities of color due to gentrification?
Q4. How would you support the growing number of renters in our community?
Q5. How would you create a welcoming and supportive community for immigrants and their families?
A1. My top two priorities for the city of Reno are to find solutions to our affordable housing crisis and the needs of our homeless community while using fiscally responsible government policies.
A2. As we discussed in our interview, in order to increase funding and incentives for developers, we will need to develop a team of regional partners to accurately identify all of the underlying issues that must be addressed before we can proceed with any plans. We must insure we are moving forward with plans that will have a positive impact and benefit our community and region for the long haul. Many of the suggestions mentioned during our conversation are highly probable and possibly the most effective use of our resources and talents and will create better and improved incentives for controlled and responsible growth and development.
A3. We need to look at the benefits and jobs available to the neighborhoods in question before we approve developments. This will allow us to be thoughtful of the residents’ needs, ensuring developments are better placed to allow residents to experience the economic growth and advantages of development. For example, we would not want to approve developments in neighborhoods that could cause a decrease in job availability and increase property values, forcing residents out of their neighborhoods.
A4. As our community grows we have definitely seen an increase in the number of people who rent their residence. In fact, in Reno we have a 60% renter demographic to 40% home owner. We need policies in place that are fair to both tenants and the entities that own the properties. It will become even more important in the near future that as a community we put a stop to rent gouging and the unfair practices of tenant profiling. We have several options available, but we will need to identify the most reliable and effective of them. Some options are tax incentives and deed restrictions, but those will need to be properly vetted as we discussed in the interview.
A5. Immigration is a Federal issue, not a local issue. However, as we discussed in the interview, local governments are left to deal with the moral obligations of immigration. I believe as a local government the best we can do is provide a welcoming atmosphere and growth opportunities to encourage immigrants and their families to settle and become active participants in our community. I, and hopefully our government entities, respect any person who wants to have a fair opportunity to better themselves and the community they choose to call home.
A1. Housing (rent control, utilization of existing structures such as stores and hotels). Better use of existing resources, rather than misspending money.
A2. Variable pricing within a development. For example: The Rosslyn Annex in downtown LA. Many units are rented at market rate. Some others have income requirements and rent for less than one half market rate. They are also about one half the size. The developer loses nothing in rented square feet. People with lower income can live in a place that they otherwise might not be able to afford. Several of the small units are rented for even less (long wait list)Long vacant stores and especially casinos would be ideal at all price points. Everyone wins!
A3. I have no answer to that. It’s gentrify or decay. I would suggest raising the incomes which of course improves the overall quality of life. On a city level I suggest a jobs bank. Working with employers and using local job agencies, the city could help connect anyone who wants a few hours here or there. It could change the life of a kid or an older person and help fill what in normal times is a critical shortage of workers.
A4. Rent control. The electricity that comes into your home is regulated. So is the water. These are necessities, that’s why. But the home itself is not protected. That’s wrong! Leases must be automatically renewed.
A5. That is difficult because there is so little interaction. I think that Renoites in general are not judge mental and the city is becoming increasingly diverse. That has to raise their comfort level somewhat. Just smiling and saying hello can go a long way.
A1. Public safety and housing.
A2. We should utilize all incentives and zoning code improvements to increase affordable housing. There are CDBG and housing dollars that can be layered with private money.
A3. We can create housing trusts and community housing opportunities for both groups. We can also create housing targeted at both groups.
A4. Provide greater protections for tenants and education about tenant issues.
A5. By including them in the decision making process. By building coalitions among immigrant communities, faith groups, law enforcement, and non-profits.
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